New Year’s Intentions

New Year's Intentions x Ashley Neese

Since crossing the threshold into 2018 I’ve been reflecting on my intentions which has been a favorite practice of mine for too many years to count (see links below in related posts for some fun New Year’s practices). I love making lists and I am especially fond of writing intention lists as a way to gain clarity on what it is I really want. I create them monthly on the new moon and bi-yearly with my partner. I am also a big fan of writing out a new year’s intention list in early January, harnessing the momentum of this beginning to consider what my heart most desires for the coming months.

As I wrote about in my recent post, this past year was full of challenges. Reflecting on the intense struggles aka major opportunities for monumental spiritual growth, it’s essential that my main intention this year is to be selective with where I put my energy. I realize that might sound corporate, stale or perhaps even pretentious. The thing is, I have spent the better part of my life using up so much of my energy on everything from trying to prove my worth, to comparing myself to others, to not trusting myself, that my body, mind, and heart have grown weary. If I learned anything in 2017 it is that I have to do a complete self care overhaul and keep things really simple this year.

It’s like back to basics, but not basic at all.
It’s like actual, legit, self mastery.

I have big dreams for 2018 and they way I am going to bring them to life is to practice paying attention to where my energy goes and keep it in check when needed. The days of ignoring my body’s signals are numbered. The months of hustling to prove I am good at what I do are gone. The moments of mindlessly scrolling Instagram are behind me. I am here, with both feet planted, heading into 2018 with a whole lot of love and patience for the deep work I am being called to do and the up-leveling that 2017 prepared me for.

Below is a short form list of my eight 2018 intentions. During the month I will expand on a few of these in a  full length journal post. Here’s a glimpse into what I am considering for this New Year:

Creating My Own Lane & Staying In It
This one is major. I spoke about the power of it briefly on my dear friend Jordan’s podcast in December and since then have been narrowing my focus even more.

Communing With Nature
One of the main ways I plan to explore grounding while deepening my connection to the seasons, cycles, and rhythms of nature.

Holding Really Gently

What might it look like to loosen my grip and a few guidelines I hope will support this needed practice.

Being Mindful About What I Absorb

From content to people, I am going to be even more discerning with what I take in this year while making sure there is plenty of room to receive what matters most.

Slowing The F Down
This was a huge part of 2017 and I plan to keep delving into this whole slowing down thing even more this year. Putting my body first. Woah, even just writing that I felt a huge opening in my chest. It’s clear this is going to be a major teaching and practice in the coming months.

Strengthening Boundaries
Investigate and track where my boundaries are shaky and slowly establish firmer edges.

Editing, Editing & More Editing
Downsize. Phase things out. Surrender. Editing what isn’t essential to make for the big yeses. Minimalism with feelings.

Following My Own Pace
Allowing my heart to serve as my compass. Increasing my capacity to march to the beat of my own heart.


What are your intentions for the New Year? Feel free to share in the comments, I would love to know.

Image x Jessica Menda


  • Jitka

    Oh my dear friend, how so so much you resonate I cannot even describe. This shows to me how important it is for me to start sharing my writing, I’ve been shying away from it so much and then when I bump into people who inspire me including you I see we are all going through such such similar times. Massive Yes to mindful slowing down, nourishment on all levels, deeper connection to nature and spiritual practices, wilder healing and less edited self expression, narrating my whole new life. As someone who has just started her own business in teaching people purposeful work life balance I have come to realise how much self care really matters and so it seems it’s especially important for entrepreneurs. Emotional intelligence being another passion of mine.
    Thank you deeply for inspiring me, ALWAYS, and sending you all my love.
    Jitka xXx

    • ashley

      Hi Jitka!
      It’s so good to hear from you an connect on all of these levels. YES! If you are resonating with other people’s writing that is such a powerful and clear sign it is time for you to step into that and share more. I am getting such a strong feeling for you about that right now and when I read your comment. The deeper you dive into teaching and stronger that desire will become. Being a teacher is such an honor and it’s so much space to hold. It’s essential to upgrade your self care and keep that front and center, especially, like you mentioned, when you’re running your own business too! I’m excited to see where this year takes you and witness your continued growth. It’s going to be amazing I am sure! Thank you for being here and for taking the time to share. It means so much to me. Always. x

  • Corina

    Hi Ashley! It’s so good to read from you again! And your intensions for 2018 are so much similar to mine! In addition, I want to bring my personal minimalism to the next level with going as much zero waste as possible. Let’s see how that turns out. So happy new year and I hope it’s gonna be a good one! Corina

    • ashley

      Happy new year! Thank you for hanging in through all of the life transitions I’ve been going through. It’s so wonderful to reconnect here. I love your intention for personal minimalism and zero waste, that is totally in alignment for me too. Please keep me posted on how things go, I would love to know. I have a good feeling about this year, 2017 laid some good foundation for all of us! x

Leave a Comment